Recruiters should be vigilant as students warned about graduation selfies

Prospects’ Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) is warning recruiters to be vigilant as students share their degree certificates in graduation selfies.


Sellers of fake degrees are able to access the latest designs from photos posted online of graduates celebrating with their certificates.

Logos, crests, signatories, stamps, holograms and wording can be easily copied onto fake certificates and passed off as genuine to unwitting employers.

Jayne Rowley, Director at Prospects’ HEDD explains:

“Each year we see thousands of graduation selfies innocently tweeted by students and retweeted by their universities. Added to the eternal gallery of images online, they give anyone in the business of counterfeit degree certificates the latest designs.

“Websites selling genuine-looking certificates for a few pounds rely on getting access to real certificates for their fakes to pass muster with recruiters. None of us would upload a copy of our passport or driving licence, nor give out our bank details. We should regard our degree certificates as precious and private information to be guarded.”

3 ways to spot a fake certificate:

1. Check the spelling and language – misspellings are a common indication of a fake certificate

2. Check the university is accredited – check the university name using the authenticate tool on

3. Check evidence of cutting and pasting on documents – a wonky appearance, different fonts and visible lines could indicate a doctored document.

Last year the Department for Business Innovation & Skills announced its appointment of Prospects to clampdown on the number of bogus institutions.  It works with Trading Standards, National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and other law enforcement authorities to close perpetrators.

HEDD has launched toolkits to help universities and colleges protect themselves from fraud – available to download at

Author: Editorial Team

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